Minneapolis police messed with the wrong citizen in July when an officer shot and wounded two of Jennifer LeMay’s therapy dogs.
She is a force to be reckoned with, whether you are the police or “Inside Edition,” which worked her last nerve.
“After my ‘Inside Edition’ interview, I told Mike [Padden, her attorney and my friend], ‘I’m not doing another interview.’ [‘Inside Edition’] sat and grilled me and my kids for four hours, not to even air the show until two weeks later.” She describes her interaction this way: You want to sit here and tell me how to sit and how to dress and Change this shirt. Fix your hair. Man, I ain’t got time for all that. I’ve got dogs that have bullet holes in them and kids that are a hot mess.” LeMay held up her hand like Diana Ross: “No.”
Apparently the interview with the crew from “Ellen” went better, and LeMay understands that it won’t air until the new season starts.
She said the dense musculature of American Staffordshire terriers is the only reason we’re not talking about dead therapy dogs.
Ciroc, the most seriously injured, is being cared for in Little Falls. “Ciroc is for my son’s [Caleb] emotional behavior.” Rocko, the dog brought to my interview with LeMay and her daughter Vanessa, is for oldest daughter Courtney, whom you see on the bodycam video. “She has a seizure disorder. [Rocko] helps her come out of her seizures. Still to this day [Rocko] won’t go in through the back gate. They remember. The state of Minnesota recognizes dogs as property. I differ. My dogs are family members. My dogs make it possible for my son to get through day-to-day life.”
Q: What did your dogs being shot do to you?
A: My life has been complete hell for three weeks. I have my kids all over Minnesota. I have Ciroc in Little Falls because Ciroc was on tube feeding and I work for Comcast; I work 10-hour shifts. I can’t do five to seven tube feedings a day. Wednesday Ariana [her 8-year-old] finally came home. After this tragedy happened, me and [Ariana’s] dad refused to have her come home to see her dogs like this. She’s an old soul. … We are hoping for Ciroc to be home by Monday. He has to get more confident with his muzzle. When they shot him they blew his jaw away. His TMJ is fractured in two different spots. And they blew away his salivary glands. They blew away his teeth in the back.
Q: Have you had the carpet cleaned?
A: We had the carpet replaced. It was bodily fluids; it was considered biohazard.
Q: How do you react when you see police now?
A: I was at Cub Foods four or five days after this happened and it put me into an anxiety attack. They are harassing me on my block. They drive down my block five, six, seven times a day. For what?
Q: You think police are harassing you?
A: No thinking about it, we know about it. We have them on camera. Slow-motion rolling in front of my house. Two days after they shot my dogs [my neighbor saw police] take pictures of the cameras outside my house.
[Asked for comment about this, MPD’s public info officer, Sgt. Catherine Michal, said, “At this point I don’t have enough information to respond to this claim. Also, as you are likely aware, there may be a legal case in regards to the topic you are writing about, which would prevent me from commenting.”]
Q: These are therapy dogs. So if somebody breaks into your house they are more likely to lick the burglar to death?
A: They are not going to go after them. Every dog in their territory is going to let you know Hey, we are here if they feel threatened.
Q: What’s the vet bills tally?
A: If I had to calculate where we were — they keep on coming in — we’re at a good $13,000.
Q: The city has agreed to pay those bills?
A: They have agreed. You’re going to ask the next question?
Q: Have they paid any of the dogs’ vet bills?
A: Not one penny, and they haven’t reached out to my attorney. Like I said, their PR moves are great.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.